Hello Blog friends!
It’s been exactly 3 months since my last post and quite a lot has happened. Today is the first day of our Southern hemisphere Summer and it’s 30 degrees Celsius. However the weather has been very erratic for the past few months – some days 30+ degrees, the next 17 degrees. It’s a bit hard for the body and mind to adjust.
To update you, I’ll start from the start (always a good place to begin, I find!) with our month long European cruise, starting in September. We had a fabulous time – it was our first cruise and we had 7 days in the Eastern Mediterranean and then 7 days in the Western Mediterranean. The ship was lovely and bigger than we could imagine, which means it also had a lot of people on board. It took us a while to get used to being so close to so many people but the shore trips made it worthwhile. Everywhere was lovely, but the highlights were Venice, Dubrovnik, Valencia and Dubai (on our way home). With over 800 photos taken between us it is hard to choose a selection, so here are just a few to give you a feel for our trip.
The cities we visited were Venice and Bari in Italy, Olympia (site of the ancient Olympic stadium) in Greece, Izir and Istanbul in Turkey, Dubrovnik in Croatia, Marseille and Cassis in France, Barcelona and Valencia in Spain, Tunis in Tunisia, Rome and Milan in Italy and Dubai in United Arab Emirates on the way home.
We were tired by the end of the month of September and looking forward to coming home to see our doggies. We’d had a house-sitter and she took very good care of them and gave us lots of updates. However, our joy of being home after such a wonderful trip soon turned to concern as we discovered that our beautiful girl April had developed a limp two days before we returned. The outcome, sadly, was that after 2 weeks of vet appointments and pain relief for what we thought was a sprain, it turned out to be aggressive tumours in her bone marrow which had already spread to her lungs. There was nothing the vets could do to help her and to our great sadness and shock we had to let her go on October 14. Rest in Peace Sweetheart, you will always be our funny, happy girl.
At the same time as coping with April’s loss, I was also organising, along with my sister, a family bike ride – A Ride to Remember – to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Australia. November 17 was the first anniversary of my Mum’s passing. Rather than make the day a sad day, we decided we would make the day a positive day, at the same time as honouring Mum’s memory by gathering friends to raise some much needed funds. We have never done anything like this before, and without blowing our own trumpet too much, we were pretty pleased with ourselves and what we were able to achieve. We had articles in the local paper, I spoke on on Melbourne ABC radio, we obtained sponsors to help with costs of putting on the event, and we raised $7500 from friends and friends of friends who all wanted to support the cause. We were humbled by how much love, support and generosity we received. Everyone who registered for the event turned up (that must be some kind of record!) and we also had more arrive on the day. After 2 weeks of poor weather, the morning dawned with mist on the mountains, but as the bike riders left the starting point, the clouds parted and the sun shone. Perhaps Mum had some influence? I was exhausted by the end of the day – I didn’t ride but co-ordinated the lunch stop and cooking the food for over 90 people – many hours on my feet. But it was a good exhausted. We had achieved something positive. My sister, Dad and I still took some time afterwards to remember our mum and a few tears were shed. We’ve had lots of participants say they had a lovely day and are looking forward to next year… we’ll have to see….
On reflection, it’s been a busy 3 months. I was starting to get disappointed with myself for not having contributed anything to the blogasphere but now I look back, it’s probably not surprising! Now that I’ve sat down to share some important points in my life, I feel I’m back on board and looking forward to writing some more posts and to reading yours.